Christmas Breakfast: Eggnog Pumpkin Bread Pudding

The Bakerlady describes this as tasting like “Christmas on a spoon.” I can’t say I have much to argue with.

Our family tradition for Christmas breakfast, since it seems to deserve more than hurried bowls of cereal but also requires that I get up early and head back out to work early in the AM, has for the past few years been some sort of prepare-last-night-throw-into-the-oven-in-the-morning bread pudding baked french toast kind of thing.  Another tradition is that my husband prepares it, since he’s not the one who has to get up and go to work early Christmas morning after being there half to two thirds of the night before. I like both of these traditions.

This year a month or so ago I found this recipe for Pumpkin Eggnog Bread Pudding, sent my husband the link, and asked, “Hey, hon, maybe we can have this one this year?” True to his nature as a Good Kind Man, he obliged.

Delicious.  The bread pudding was sweet and custardy and would in my opinion have been a little cloying except for the perfect counterpoint of the cranberry compote, whose tartness beautifully balanced the sweetness of the pudding.  I have a couple of tweaks I’d make next time–a couple of them we did already, and a couple I’d like to try next time. I thought it was too sweet, and I thought that a nice artisan whole wheat bread might have been really nice instead of the fairly squishy and inconsequential white stuff.  And I would have added more spice…but anyway, here it is:


Overnight Eggnog Pumpkin Bread Pudding (Jenn’s adaptation)

Butter an 8×11-ish baking dish.

Fill with 8 cups stale bread cubes (whole wheat baguette or other artisan multigrain would be perfect)

In a bowl mix:

  • 3/4-1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups high-quality eggnog (not fat-free or low-fat)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tbs. spiced rum or brandy

Pour over bread cubes in baking dish. Press cubes down and gently fold the cubes around in the custard to ensure that they are all well-bathed

Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Before baking, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pudding 45 minutes or so or until a knife stuck in the center comes out clean.

Serve with spiced cranberry compote, which could also be prepared the night before.


This is AMAZING. You gotta try this.  And with my adaptations (less sugar, whole wheat bread, and leaving out those 5 tbs drizzled melted butter) it’s not all THAT horribly bad for you. 🙂

Christmas is only once a year, after all…

(UPDATE New Year’s Day: This morning, with some of the leftover pumpkin, I tried making French Toast using essentially this same recipe–or a half-recipe, to be exact, because that’s how much bread we had left, cut into slices instead of cubes and cooked in a skillet on the stove–and it was very nice but not even remotely as good as the original soak-all-night version.  But it’s good to have ideas for something to do with the leftover pumpkin from the can when your recipe for something only calls for a cup!)

Posted on December 26, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Funny, bread pudding is our Christmas breakfast tradition as well. As you say, it is nicer and more formal than a bowl of cereal but requires nothing much the morning of other than to pop it in and out of the oven. I’ll have to bookmark your recipe for next year.

  2. That does sound fabulous! Will have to try for next year! (Or for New Year’s Day!)

  3. (Robbie, I’m making it again tomorrow!)

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